Kids for Coltrane

Archive for the ‘Video Post’ Category

This is great video created by Bret Primack explaining the special friendship of two jazz  legends John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. On September 7th Sonny is celebrating his birthday. I would like to celebrate Sonny and his contribution to music and his love of humanity which he  is expresses exquisitely. Explore the music and lives of the Jazz masters…you will hear brilliance…you will also learn moving and powerful American stories.

One of my favorite poems

The Soul’s Expression by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

With stammering lips and insufficient sound
I strive and struggle to deliver right
That music of my nature, day and night
With dream and thought and feeling interwound
And only answering all the senses round
With octaves of a mystic depth and height
Which step out grandly to the infinite
From the dark edges of the sensual ground.
This song of soul I struggle to outbear
Through portals of the sense, sublime and whole,
And utter all myself into the air:
But if I did it, – as the thunder – roll
Breaks its own cloud, my flesh would perish there,
Before that dread apocalypse of soul.

This is a touching video posted on You Tube by NYU in honor of teacher and Pulitzer Prize winner Frank McCourt.  His books include Angela’s Ashes and Teacher Man where he documents his courageous journey.

Frank McCourt was a 30 year veteran New York City public high school teacher.  The UFT honored him with the John Dewey Award for Excellence in Education in 2006.  Although Frank  died this July he will continue to hold the hands of teachers who enter the classroom each year.  ” I wanted my students to think for themselves,” he stated.  In this tribute film he talks about accepting an honorary doctorate from NYU. “….I am accepting this honorary doctorate not because I wrote 2 books , but because I was a teacher, that’s the main thing.”  Frank McCourt did his undergraduate work at NYU and graduate work at Brooklyn College. He is an inspiration to educators and children all over the world. I am grateful to  Frank McCourt for being an exemplary educator, and a man who followed his bliss.

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The Holliswood School children, friends and families  listening to gifted musician Louis Vignapiano performing at The Kids for Coltrane Event.  Throughout the year Mr. Vignapiano shares his original instrumental compositions with the Kids for Coltrane. The  students have discovered the wonderful world of songwriting.

George Lucas describing his vision of what education should look like. I agree with every word!

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“Mr. Lucas your words here are right on…I recently finished a two year project with a looped class. We went from first to second grade communicating through music. Over time we worked with the music of the brilliant John Coltrane. Reporter Corey Kilgannon from the New York Times asked me how I had the courage to teach through Coltrane. I told him that children welcome what is complicated and then take it apart. They heard Coltrane and all the other musicians communicating their thoughts and feelings through the different genres of music. We worked on a similar project using the visual arts in what is called Artful Thinking. There will be an article in the Wall Street Journal about my work by Nat Hentoff using jazz to educate children. It is all about communication, and creating the connections needed to help human beings follow their bliss. Joseph Campbell would be very proud of your work here. Congratulations!
Christine Passarella
New York”

My comment from Edutopia’s website.

Check out Edutopia– Great magazine for educators and parents. My quote was published recently on the Sage Advice page.

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